Dov Seidman: In other words, after this health crisis is over, good leaders will pivot.
Thomas Friedman: What do you mean “pivot”?
Dov Seidman: A pivot, as in basketball, is a very deliberate action where I put one foot solidly in place and I then move the other foot in a better direction. In a political leader’s case, in a company leader’s case, in an education leader’s case, that pivot will be anchored, hopefully, in deep human values — and then move in the new directions we’ll need in a post-pandemic world, where people’s expectations will have fundamentally changed.
Emerson said, “In each pause I hear the call.” Now we need to save people, but in what you call the A.C. era — After Corona — it will be about how we serve people differently — with a tighter connection between human needs and economic progress and between our environmental needs and economic prosperity.
Leaders who in this pause hear that call — leaders who bring that ethos of saving people today but serving people and society differently tomorrow — will be the ones that will earn our most enduring respect and support.
— from “We Need Great Leadership Now, and Here’s What It Looks Like.” An interview with Dov Seidman by Thomas L. Friedman (New York Times, April 21, 2020).
Mary and I love to watch Law and Order. And, of course, we love one of the main actors Sam Waterson, who by the way is Episcopalian. If you’ve ever watched it, you know the distinctive deep “dun dun” sound heard when scenes change. On my cell phone, the notification tone for my texts is that sound. I also have individual ring tones for each person in my family, so I know who is calling just from the sound. Mary’s ring tone is the theme song from Law and Order.
Since the show is about New York City, and also filmed there, Mary and I are always trying to identify the neighborhood in which each scene is filmed. Over the years, some scenes in schools have included the high school I attended. Since the show has been on for so many years, one of the distinctive identifiers Mary and I have is when we see the Twin Towers in the background. “Oh, this is pre-9/11,” we’ll say. Pre-9/11 and post-9/11 have become a part of the lexicon of our culture and society. So many things changed post-9/11.
I read the New York Times every morning and enjoy reading the op-eds. The other day, Thomas Friedman wrote an article about leadership and the above quote is from that article. He was interviewing Dov Seidman, Founder and Chairman of The HOW Institute for Society and
Founder and Chairman of LRN. Two things struck me. One is the probable distinction we will make in the years ahead between before Corona and after Corona. Secondly, the call leaders have now is to save people, but great leaders will need to pivot after Corona to serving people.
So much of the weakness and injustice of our society has become apparent as we struggle with COVID-19. Justice needs to create a balance going forward between human needs and economic progress, between environmental needs and economic prosperity.
Friends, I am all in as we lean forward together in the midst of COVID-19 and bring about that ethos of saving people today but serving people and society differently tomorrow. May we pivot together towards that kind of leadership.
— Fr. George
For more parish resources and updates during the global pandemic, visit St. Paul’s Connects.Tags: From the Clergy, Hope for the Journey